Power strips…The may not be not the most fascinating topic, but let’s face it, you gotta have ’em. For those of you who are running out of USB ports on your computer (or already have), have you considered power strips with USB functionality?
These gadgets have been around for a few years, but I am consistently amazed out how many folks either don’t know they exist, or when you mention them, they go, “Oh yeah…I forgot all about those.”
If you are running out of USB ports, this may be an alternative to a more expensive USB hub. A number of companies make these power strips (Belkin, e.g.), and you can expect to pay anywhere from approximately $15.00 to $30.00 for a 3 outlet strip with 1 USB port. Thus, as you can see, these strips will be more expensive than their non-USB counterparts even though they come with fewer electrical outlets. If it also comes with telephone jacks, the price will be higher. And so on, and so on.
If you decide to go the route of a power strip with USB ports, don’t scrimp on quality. Buy from a reputable manufacturer, and be sure to buy a strip that provides good surge protection.
While we are on the subject of power strips…are you one of those folks that loses functionality with your power strip because an AC adapter is taking up one outlet and then covering up another? If so, you might want to look into power strip liberators like the ones shown below.
Personally, I had never heard of such things until I was doing some research for this article, so you might want to take the picture with you to your local electronics store. As you can see, the idea is a pretty simple one – short cords with an outlet on one end and a plug on the other act as a conduit between the adapter and the power strip, freeing up the previously covered outlet.
One location I found on the Internet for these is cyberguys.com. I simply ran a search in their search box, and several choices popped up, running around $12.00-15.00 for a 10 pack. You can link to the results page here.